California to the Grand Canyon Road Trip
Explore America’s Southwest hot spots along this awe-inspiring 1,870-mile road trip.
Road Trip Itinerary
- San Diego, Calif. (Balboa Park)
- Yuma, Ariz.
- Tucson, Ariz.; Saguaro National Park; Copper Town Loop
- Phoenix, Ariz.; Glendale, Ariz.; Musical Instrument Museum
- Verde Valley Wine Country
- Sedona, Ariz.
- Flagstaff, Ariz.
- Williams, Ariz.
- Grand Canyon South Rim
- Prescott, Ariz.
- San Diego, Calif.
From surf to saguaros, this incredible adventure starts in San Diego where you can sink your feet into palm tree-lined beaches, peruse the Gaslamp District’s boutiques and trendy restaurants and explore the San Diego Zoo.
Then leave the Pacific Ocean behind in your rearview mirror as you hit the open road to the gateway to the Southwest—Yuma, Ariz. Hailed the sunniest city in the world by Guinness Book of World Records, Yuma offers farm tours and incredible kayaking and tubing down the Colorado River.
Continue east to Saguaro National Park in Tucson to stroll among the Southwest’s iconic saguaros, some of which stretch 50 feet into the desert sky. Two hours north, get your city fix by exploring the incredible museums, shops and sporting events in Phoenix and Glendale, Ariz.
Farther north lies the Verde Valley where neat rows of deep green grapevines race up and down dry, rolling hills. Discover Arizona wines at one of the inviting tasting rooms lining the historic streets in Jerome, Cottonwood, Cornville and Clarkdale. In the distance, you’ll see the red rocks of Sedona, some of which are believed to have special energy fields. Hike to one of these vortexes in Sedona en route to the breathtaking Grand Canyon.
As you return to San Diego, take the road to Prescott, a classic western town with a lively, family-friendly downtown and the oldest saloon in Arizona. With so much to see on this road trip, discover our top picks as you read on.
Tip: Every year California goes to Daylight Savings time, but Arizona does not. Remember this one-hour difference as you travel between the two states.
Glendale, Ariz., Sporting Events and an Historic Downtown
Home to one of the nation’s finest sports & entertainment districts, voted as best shopping, plus outdoor recreation in a desert fairy tale. Read More...
In Flagstaff, Ariz. You’ll Discover Route 66, Ropes and Ale
This lively gateway community comes with a historic downtown. Take the self-guided walking tour, dare to climb the ropes or do the Ale Trail. Read More...
Two Landmarks That Helped Americans Land on the Moon
On your road trip to the Grand Canyon, stop by a Meteor Crater and the Lowell Observatory which have played critical roles in NASA’s space program. Read More...
Williams, Ariz., Gateway to Grand Canyon on Route 66
A wildlife park, a scenic train ride to the Grand Canyon, a thrilling zipline adventure above Route 66, and a peaceful mountain retreat are waiting for you in Williams. Read More...